Epistemic Insight means ‘knowledge about knowledge’ – and, particularly, knowledge about disciplines and how they interact.
The Epistemic Insight Initiative is developing, establishing and evaluating ways to teach Epistemic Insight in schools, colleges and teacher education.
Wising up to how knowledge works
The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) research group conducted research to discover how students reason about Big Questions and how Big Questions are managed in schools. The research concluded that schools need to do more to help young people to understand how scholarship and knowledge work not only within their subjects but also across them.
The research discovered that secondary schools typically provide few opportunities for asking Big Questions and for exploring and talking about the distinctive approaches that different diciplines take.
Further, there is a basis to say that the impacts of entrenched compartmentalisation on students’ reasoning are largely hidden – because assessment tends to focus only on students’ progress within each subject.
For more about LASAR, see www.LASARcentre.com
Meanwhile in primary schools although cross-curricular work is more common, the focus for students is often about learning content knowledge rather than about the structure of the disciplines themselves.
A Programme of Epistemic Insight
A programme of Epistemic Insight introduces students to scholarly ways of working such as learning about different tools for inquiry.
Developing Epistemic Insight is centralised in the Teacher Education that takes place in institutions that share strategies, resources and pedagogies.
Epistemic Insight is progressive
Epistemic insight is progressive – it builds up as students move up through school, through college, through university and beyond.
The Teaching and Learning about Epistemic Insight Project
The project is a ‘work in progress’ and an active research area that is underway at major academic institutions – in England and internationally.